There were many days on the ocean – just about all of them, in fact – when I disappointed myself. I wasn’t enjoying it as much as I had wanted to, I wasn’t rowing as many hours as I’d planned to, I still felt like I was faking it rather than making it as an adventurer, and on and on. My inner critic was having a field day – or 103 field days, to be precise.

I think we’ve all been there, and if you haven’t, I want to hear from you how you do it.

wpid-img_20150105_010234We say things to ourselves that we would never say to our worst enemy, let alone our best friend. 

Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could rely on ourselves to be a good friend? We would always be there for ourselves, without running up phone bills or having to wait for a response to our text or email. We could count on ourselves to know exactly how we feel, without a word having to be said. We would always have someone there to give us sympathy, compassion, support and understanding.

Yet we (usually) don’t. We criticise, we berate, we constantly remind ourselves of our most excruciating embarrassments, disappointments and failures.

Why would we do that?

Eventually I learned to be more compassionate with myself. I knew I was doing my best, and even if it wasn’t as good as I might have hoped, I genuinely knew that on that particular day, it was all I had. And you can’t justly criticise someone for giving all they’ve got.

Self-Compassion-Conversation-StartersI would even say things out loud, talking to myself to give myself a verbal pat on the back or a big sympathetic hug. I gradually started to become my own best friend.

Brené Brown says it so well, and even has a course to help you be more compassionate towards yourself. Check it out.

If you relate to what I’m saying, do yourself a favour and put some sticky notes around your house to remind you to be nice to yourself. The voice in your head is the one that is always with you, the one you can’t run away from. So make it a kind and compassionate one.


Other Stuff:

Huge thanks to everybody who took my COURAGE survey to help me research my new book. I had hundreds of responses, and loads of fabulous and honest feedback about what kinds of courage you admire, and where in your lives you wish you had more courage. I was very touched that so many people took the time to look into their hearts and share their stories with me.

I’ve now closed the survey, as I had almost more responses than I could handle. So if you didn’t get around to taking it, you’re off the hook! If you have something to say about courage that you still desperately want me to know, please contact me.

Thank you!



  • A wise yoga teacher recently said: “Be careful of what you say to yourself because you are listening.”

  • I use self hypnosis to be more compassionate. I really benefit from it. If I myself weren’t compassionate, I would be slip. I would stick on the same thought. I feel freer by showing compassion to myself.

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